Special Correspondent

Azad discusses seat-sharing arrangement with Karunanidhi

Appeals to other parties to join the

Congress-DMK alliance

CHENNAI: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress general secretary and in charge of Tamil Nadu, on Monday held discussions with Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC)’s functionaries as part of efforts to work out a seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections.

Emerging from a 50-minute-long meeting with Mr. Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence here, Mr. Azad told reporters that the relationship between the leadership of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance and that of the DMK was “perfect” and “there is no need for any speculation.”

Describing the DMK as a “very strong ally” of the UPA, he said the partnership with the DMK was one of the “most successful alliances.” The coordination between the Congress and the DMK was “total,” which would continue in future too.

Noting that the DMK had constituted a committee for the purpose of holding negotiations with other parties for seat sharing, the Congress general secretary said his party too would form one such committee and the two panels would discuss the matter. He appealed to other like-minded parties to join the Congress-DMK alliance in the State.

Responding to queries of the reporters on the possibility of DMK giving more seats to the Congress, Dayanidhi Maran, DMK Member of Parliament, who was present during the discussions, responded that every party wanted to contest more seats. “We will sit together and we will negotiate and try to get the best for each other.” He added that there were “spare seats.”

Referring to the Election Commission’s decision to hold the polls in the State in May, Kanimozhi, another MP, said there was enough time to prepare for the elections.

Pointing out that the DMK-Congress ties were good all through, she expressed the hope that this would continue.

K.V. Thangkabalu, TNCC president, D. Sudarssanam, Congress Legislature Party leader, and T.R. Baalu, Union Minister for Shipping, Highways and Road Transport, were present at the meeting between Mr. Azad and Mr. Karunanidhi.